A Guide To DBS Checks for Interpreters
Interpreters are expected to work with people from all walks of life with different needs and are often in vulnerable positions. Therefore, it would make sense for interpreters to be eligible for Enhanced DBS Checks.
Although many interpreters do require Enhanced DBS Checks, not all of them do. It very much depends on the establishment, situation and environment they are working in at the time.
To help you navigate the issue of DBS checks for interpreters, we’ve put together this brief guide that will help answer some of the questions you may have.
Levels of DBS Check
When it comes to Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks, there are three levels, each with different criteria for eligibility and different results.
Basic DBS Check
A Basic DBS Check is a criminal record check that can be requested by any individual over the age of 16. It reveals details of any unspent convictions and conditional cautions that are still present on the criminal record.
Standard DBS Check
A Standard DBS Check reveals both unspent and spent convictions, as well as any cautions, warnings, or reprimands that exist on an individual’s criminal record.
Enhanced DBS Check
The Enhanced DBS Check is the highest level of criminal record check and reveals the same offences as a Standard DBS Check, as well as any relevant notes or information held on file by the police force. For some roles that are identified as ‘regulated activities’, a barred list check (either for children or adults, or both) may also be requested alongside the Enhanced DBS Check.
DBS Checks for Interpreters
Due to the fact that interpreters work in a variety of different establishments, institutions, and official settings, they are often required to work with vulnerable adults or children. In these cases, their role may be defined as a regulated activity and require an Enhanced DBS Check.
However, not every interpreter will need the highest level of DBS check. If they do not work with children or vulnerable adults on a frequent basis, or they are not left unsupervised with them, then a standard or basic level check may suffice.
It is up to the employer to decide whether the interpreter needs a DBS check, and if so which level is required. Fortunately, the government and the DBS have set out some eligibility criteria and guidance to help employers decide which roles require which level of check. We have summarised these guidelines and examples below.
How To Decide Upon The Correct Level of DBS Check
Below are some descriptions of typical interpreter roles and the level of DBS check they would be eligible for.
- An interpreter who works with the police and judicial system to help people accused of criminal acts that do not speak fluent English. As this interpreter is potentially working with vulnerable adults on a frequent basis, they would be eligible for an Enhanced DBS Check.
- A British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter working in schools and care settings with hearing impaired children would be eligible for an Enhanced DBS Check with children’s barred list check.
- An interpreter working in a hospital or clinic would be eligible for a Standard DBS Check if they are never, or rarely, left unsupervised with vulnerable adults or children. If they are frequently left alone with individuals, then they will require an Enhanced DBS Check.
- An interpreter or translator who works for a media company, translating people’s speech or text, may not require a DBS Check or may be eligible for a Basic DBS Check, depending on their specific duties.
Summary – DBS Checks for Translators Or Interpreters
Anybody that works as an interpreter or translator is likely to be working closely with individuals or groups. Sometimes these groups may include vulnerable adults or children.
The level of DBS check required for an interpreter or translator depends on their specific role and duties. If they frequently work directly with vulnerable adults or children, then they will need an Enhanced DBS Check. Otherwise, they may only need a standard or basic DBS check, depending on the level of responsibility.
Individuals can apply for a Basic DBS Check online. If a standard or enhanced DBS check is needed, the employer needs to submit the application on the person’s behalf, which can also be done online using our service.
If you want to find out more about DBS checks for interpreters, or have any other questions related to DBS checks, get in touch with one of our expert team members today who will be more than happy to help.